Jump into the Water

by Joe Lawrence | March 31st, 2009 | Cardio, Eating Tips, Sports, Strength Training

jump“If you want to learn to swim, jump into the water.” – Bruce Lee.

These wise words are so very true for those training for a certain sport or physical challenge.  Bruce was explaining that no matter how much we prepare or train to do something, it is fruitless unless we actually put ourselves in the situation.  I learned this lesson many years ago.

Ever since I was twelve, I trained for and competed in numerous martial arts tournaments.  Our team did many exercises to prepare our bodies and minds.  We engaged in jumping rope, running the bleachers at football stadiums, pushing cars around parking lots, thousands of sprints, and even hacky sack.  All of this broke up the monotony of the normal training.

After I left for the military, I wanted to continue to grow my skills.  I did many of the same workouts and even researched many new ones.  I have to admit that my cardio and strength were miles ahead of where I was before.  When I went home and visited my old school, I thought for sure I would wipe the floor with these weaklings.  Although I was able to hold my own, I was not doing great.

I could not get my timing right.  I would see an opening in their guard and totally miss a very simple point.  “What is going on here?”  It was here that Bruce Lee’s quote rang in my head.  I had been practicing all the moves and strengthening the right muscles, however, I was not getting into the water.  I hadn’t free sparred in six months.

It was from this moment on that I realized I would have to take at least one day to train like I would play.  This is why sports teams have scrimage games.  Football has a preseason.  You really can tell when a player has been injured and missed a few weeks.  When he comes back his timing is all out of whack.

The solution is to plan at least one day every two weeks to create a practice as realistic as you can to the real contest.

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